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With autumn edging ever nearer, it won’t be long before Christmas cards are in the shops, presents are on the shelves and smug friends tell us that they’ve already done all their festive shopping.
But for the rest of us mere mortals, it won’t be long until we have a shopping list as long as our arms to contend with. But where is the best place you have ever shopped?
We asked around TravelSupermarket and here are the responses…
It may be a cliché, but my favourite shopping destination has to be New York, without a doubt. My mum and I spent four nights in the Big Apple a couple of years back and although we went to bed each night with tired legs and lighter purses, we had a great time exploring the range of shops the city has to offer.
Highlights included; window shopping at the top end of 5th Avenue, admiring the dazzling display of diamonds and other jewellery at Tiffany’s, losing a whole morning wandering round the ‘biggest department store in the world’, Macy’s, and taking a relaxed walk around the boutiques of trendy SoHo.
Well within our duty free allowance, we came home with a couple of new tops each, perfume, a couple of dresses and earrings for me, a watch for my mum – plus two pairs of matching flat shoes we put straight on to our aching feet as we handed over our dollars in the shop!
As a self-confessed shopaholic, I’ll happily shop in any destination, but I have my favourites. Given the chance, a weekend in Palma with the girls is a great opportunity for shopping (although the many bars and cafes usually distract us).
At home, Manchester is a favourite. I have a bi-annual shopping date with a uni friend – around her birthday and my birthday – for shopping, lunch and cocktails. We meet outside Boots and head straight to the Arndale Cente where the first stop is always Topshop.
Another favourite shopping destination is Glasgow. We’ve had half-term family trips when my husband’s had meetings there. While he’s at the office, we shop! Shopping with three kids takes a little planning, but we’ve managed to make a day of it each time.
With toy demonstrations, story times and activities throughout the day, we can easily spend hours in Hamley’s on the top floor of the Enoch Centre. The Disney Store is another favourite. The trade-off is the kids get their shops and I get mine!
My favourite place for shopping has to be Dubai. The malls there are incredible, and have everything from TopShop to Louis Vuitton to Ferrari dealerships.
But Dubai’s malls aren’t just famous for their shops – the restaurants, bars and nightclubs are amazing and they even have other great things to do like a cinema, ice rink, indoor ski-slope, the world’s biggest indoor aquarium and even trips up the world’s tallest building!
After shopping or seeing the sights you can have dinner at Dubai Mall overlooking the spectacular fountain show at the bottom of the Burj Khalifa – amazing.
My favourite shopping destination has to be Milan. Fashion just oozes out of this city in every way possible – from high street budget shops, where you can always find a good bargain, to the luxury high end designer shops. What makes it even more interesting is you actually see people in the streets of Milan parading around like they have just walked off the catwalk in wacky garments!
There are several destinations for shopping that I think are worth exploring;
The exotic feel of the city situated just over three hours by air from the UK is what makes a trip to this Moroccan heavyweight destination worthwhile.
The city has a huge bazaar within the old walled centre, leading off from the famous Jemaa el Fna square, and is a warren of alleyways packed with all kinds of shops selling everything from clothing to home wares, food to toys and everything in between.
You can pick up spices and herbs alongside more traditional products such as lamps, earthenware, babouche slippers in silks, kaftans and jewellery. Fantastic for gifts, you’ll find plenty of items you don’t see at home and you can even have things made to order as many shops have craftsmen on site.
It’s a place to use your negotiation skills to haggle over prices and it really does pay to shop around as many shops sell similar items. However be careful not to forget the location of your favourite outlet as you may not be able to find your way back through the warren of shops.
If you are not keen on the overall experience of haggling you can still buy many of the goods that are handmade in the city at the Centre Artisanal. Prices are higher but you’ll avoid the hassle of agreeing a price.
One of the largest shopping malls in the world is located in Bloomington, Minneapolis and is famous not only for its 500+ stores but also its indoor theme park with rides from Nickelodeon and huge food court. You’ll find all the big brands under one roof with entertainment from early through to late, and it makes an excellent place to buy everyday items at great low US prices.
Come here for Black Friday and the crowds and bargains stack up in all directions. If you are looking for an easy to use, warm and dry shopping location in winter then this place has it.
Shopping in Hong Kong is superb. Whether you want to visit Louis Vuitton shops and splurge on high end brands or you prefer fighting your way through packed local markets, this city has a huge variety of places to shop till you drop.
Personal favourites include Nathan Road with its high tech electrical stores selling every gadget you can imagine and sales staff who pile on the pressure to strike a deal with you. There are shopping centres all over the city such as Fashion Walk with its designer brands, the IFC Mall, and department stores such as Harvey Nichols. But the places I love to wander about are the street markets such as Stanley Market with well-priced clothes and Temple Street night market with its watches, clothing, fake labels and much more. As in any city, you can find quirky local shops if you know where to look.
This article from the Guardian highlights a few that are worth a visit.
Although it is a few years ago now, the best place I have ever shopped is Boston. I visited family there back in 2003 and absolutely loved the malls which were full of items I just wouldn’t be able to get at home. I also managed to stock up on my favourite make-up brands which were considerably less expensive than in the UK.